News from ISGlobal
Exposure to black carbon particles is 81% higher among Mozambican women who use kerosene as the main source of energy for lighting compared to those who use electricity. These are the main conclusions of a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).
Black carbon is one of the components of PM2.5, an air pollutant that is harmful to both human health and the planet. Black carbon from domestic combustion generates 25% of global anthropogenic PM2.5 emissions and 80% of those produced in Africa.
One striking finding was that personal levels of black carbon exposure among the women participating in this study were much higher than those observed in studies of adults and children living in European cities. In Europe, black carbon is used as a marker of traffic-related air pollution, but in rural areas and in middle- and low-income countries, it is a marker of domestic combustion.
Studies like ours show that improving access to electricity or clean alternative lighting (solar lamps, for example) in populations currently dependent on inefficient household energy sources would have very positive effects on air quality and reduce negative health impacts,” adds Cathryn Tonne, ISGlobal researcher and last author of the study.
Ariadna Curto, David Donaire-Gonzalez, Maria N. Manaca, Raquel González, Charfudin Sacoor, Ioar Rivas, Mireia Gascon, Gregory A. Wellenius, Xavier Querol, Jordi Sunyer, Eusébio Macete, Clara Menéndez, Cathryn Tonne. Predictors of personal exposure to black carbon among women in southern semi-rural Mozambique. Environment International. Volume 131, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.104962